Inspiring girls to create positive change and become more physically active is at the heart of a new collaborative pilot programme, launched at Dromore Community Centre last week.
Funded by Public Health Agency, and led by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the This Girl Can campaign is designed to inspire students to create targeted campaigns that encourage and support their peers to become active, irrespective of age, ability, and shape.
With around forty girls aged between 13-16 years from four local secondary schools in attendance, the inspiration day saw students take part in unique team building exercises, physical activity sessions and a range of interactive workshops aimed at empowering them in their ambassador roles.
Attending the This Girl Can Inspiration Day, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:
“With the drop out of adolescent girls in sport and physical activity well documented, programmes like This Girl Can are vitally important to help us understand the motivators and barriers to physical activity for this group as well as ensure they have more meaningful opportunities to be physically active.
“It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and passion on display at the launch event, and I wish the girls every success in their leadership journey as programme ambassadors!”
Clare Drummy Physical Activity Lead at Southern Health and Social Care Trust said:
“We are delighted to be working in partnership to deliver ‘This Girl Can’ initiative pilot. Research shows that children from Northern Ireland have the lowest physical activity levels in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, girls’ physical activity levels tend to decline significantly from the transition from primary to secondary school and through adolescence. We want to try to support girls to become more active in a way that suits them, so this can be sustained into adulthood.
“It’s about recognising that we can be physically active anywhere and can be incorporated into everyday life. We know that peer support has the greatest influence on teenage girls, which is why we are recruiting This Girl Can ambassadors to support and encourage girls in their schools to be active.”
The This Girl Can…Create Change campaign is a nationwide campaign by Sport England and created by This Girl Can and the Youth Sport Trust. It is part of a wider This Girl Can campaign to get more women and girls active.